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Diocese of Pagadian

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Diocese of Pagadian
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In 2016, the population covered by the diocese is 1,236,000 of which 80.30 per cent are Catholics. The area covered is 2,860 square kilometers.


The Diocese of Pagadian comprises the City of Pagadian and 21 municipalities in the northern and eastern parts of Zamboanga del Sur. It was created on Nov. 2, 1971. It is a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Ozamiz, and its titular patron is the Santo Niño.

Like many other large provinces in the Philippines, the Zamboangas were just one province way back in the Spanish era. As the population increased over the years, the large provinces had to be split up into two or three separate provinces for easier administration.

After World War II, the movement of people into the old province of Zamboanga was so great and so fast that it had to be divided into Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga del Sur in 1952. Dipolog is the capital city of Zamboanga del Norte while Pagadian is the capital of Zamboanga del Sur.

The two Zamboangas are separated by the Zamboanga Cordilleras which extend all the way down the Zamboanga Peninsula. Of the two Zamboangas, Zamboanga del Sur is the more Visayas, the Cebuano dialect is more widely spoken than any other migrant dialect.

Rubber is the primary commercial crop. Fishing is also extensive as an industry, considering the surrounding seas: Sulu Sea, Celebes Sea and the Moro Gulf, which supplies tons and tons of tuna, anchovy and sardines. There is also foreshore fishing from the nearby bays. Food crops include rice, corn, vegetables and citrus.

With the ceding of the municipality of Margosatubig of the Ipil Prelature to the Diocese of Pagadian in January 1995, the diocese now has 24 parishes under its jurisdiction. 

The presbyterium has grown to 44 diocesan priests, 6 foreign missionaries and 2 religious brothers which make them 52 in figure. They are being divided and assigned to 24 parishes. There are some parishes that have more than 2 priests that reside while other priests are assigned to other ministries. There are 12 congregations of religious sisters working in different apostolate and ministries in the diocese.

Bishop Emmanuel Cabajar was ordained a bishop on Aug. 14, 2004 and installed as fourth Bishop of Pagadian. His predecessors were Archbishop Jesus B. Tuquib of Cagayan de Oro, Bishop Antonio Tobias of the Diocese of Novaliches and Bishop Zacharias Jimenez of the Diocese of Arba.

The pastoral structure of the Diocese of Pagadian is organized into three areas of responsibility: consultative, judicial and administrative. Among its educational centers are 1 seminary, 1 college, 16 high schools and 6 pre-schools.

Vision: The faithful of the Diocese of Pagadian, united in love and wholeness, justice and peace in holiness and intimacy with God, in solidarity with all humanity, in oneness with all of creation living, simply, and serving according to the Gospel of JesusMission: "Witness to authentic humanity according to the image of Jesus "Witness to love in openess, communion, and holiness to all "Be in solidarity with the poor and marginalized people as they stand for their dignity and rights, and safeguard the integrity of creation".

Goals: "That the Priests, Sisters and Lay Workers of the Diocese of Pagadian share the common mission of the church, through a renewal and revitalization of the Faith that will enable us to become humanly authentic, participative and competent in our leadership and management so that we will be the truly Church of the poor." "That the members and leaders of each GSK (BEC) in communion with other GSKs (BECs), participate in renewal and revitalization of the Faith that will enable them to be humanly authentic, competent and effective in their mission in promoting the reign of God.

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